A Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam directed the state government to maintain status quo and said it will hear on March 6 the Center’s plea against the state government’s decision to release...
“You take it from us that we would consider the maintainability issue first,” it said, adding, “We would solve the problem amicably.”
The Bench said that every state must be aware about the procedure to be followed for the release of prisoners.
The apex court had on Feb 20 stayed the release of three convicts—Murugan, Santhan and Arivu—whose death sentence was commuted to life term by it on Feb 18 in the case, saying there had been procedural lapses on the part of the state government on the decision to release them. Thereafter, the Center had moved the plea seeking a stay on the release of convicts Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran. The Jayalalithaa government had on Feb 19 decided to set free all the seven convicts in the assassination case. Santhan, Murugan and Arivu are currently lodged in the Central Prison, Vellore and they are in jail since 1991.
The other four are also undergoing life sentence for their role in Gandhi’s assassination on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur.
The Bench had on Feb 20 issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government, Inspector General of Prisons, Chennai, Superintendent of Central Prison, Vellore and the convicts V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan and A G Perarivalan alias Arivu—for March 6. (PTI)